SME Starter

We have listed below some suggested legal templates that can be used to help start your business. We have included website design as almost all businesses will at some stage need to have a website to showcase their products and/or services.

Of course, there are several other matters that will require coverage by legal agreements, and this collection is not meant to be comprehensive. Rather, it is a prompt for you to see what else you need to get you underway. Please also browse our main menu for ideas of what other legal documents you require.

Companies House provides free model articles of association, but they should not be used blindly. Just as one-size-fits-all clothing never fits anyone quite right, the free model articles are unlikely to be perfect for your company without extensive additional work.

Business Contract Drafting

if you need business contracts drafted to suit your needs, then look no further than, which provides a range of services to help you create and customise your business agreements. 

This is a fast and efficient service used by a range of SMEs and other businesses to develop commercial contracts and other documents quickly, efficiently and, most of all, cost-effectively with their fixed price drafting service.  

Templates: Articles of Association

These templates from Net are based closely on the models in the Companies Act 2006, but with alterations and options to make your business more successful and easier to run.

Articles of Association: limited company (ltd) by shares

Articles of association: private company limited by guarantee

Articles of Association: property management company

Articles of Association: company controlled by single shareholder director

Articles of Association: multiple share classes

Articles of Association: lender or investor requires protection

Articles of Association: family owner-managed company

Memo and Articles: trading company with vesting shares

Template: Shareholders' Agreement: standard version

"This agreement provides a very thorough framework for the shareholders of any private company to set out the precise structural management of their business. It covers the provisions that will be important to owners of most private limited companies. A shareholders’ agreement is an essential document for the owners of any company. It re-balances control when there is different levels of involvement and power in day to day decisions, and protects the value and the interests of each party.

Not only should this template help you establish the strategic management structure you need to grow your business, but also ensure that your investment is protected when you or other owners decide to sell."

Template: Employee Share Option Agreement- performance based

"Use this agreement to grant a share option to an employee that can be exercised once the valuation of the shares has increased past a given amount. This document is likely to be used by an employer to motivate an employee working in any capacity. The business of the company and the role of the employee are not important to the effect of the agreement. The same document could be used for many employees (such as each director or senior manager), with terms varied for each."

Template: Employment Contract: standard for any employee

"A complete contract of employment suitable for all staff below director level in an organisation of any type or size. The document provides strong protection for the employer organisation. The employee may be full time, part time or temporary. This employment contract covers all legal requirements for information to be given to an employee. It is a carefully considered framework for fair and full protection of the employer and compliance with organisational requirements. Use of plain English makes editing easy and allows it to be understood by all parties."

Template: Mutual Confidentiality Agreement

"This document enables parties to explore the possibilities for a deal before signing an agreement that covers the terms. Being a mutual agreement, both sides agree to the same terms of disclosure, but not necessarily the disclosure of the same information. This agreement is a good way of protecting your secrets from being used by the other side if the deal doesn't go ahead. Examples of use might be: sub-contract manufacture; business acquisition; joint product development."

Template: Employment Pack

"In order to make it easy to comply with the law when hiring your first employees, we have bundled together the most commonly used employment documents, notably contracts. The pack has been designed to save you money on buying these documents separately.

  • Statement of particulars of employment
  • Employment contracts: for senior staff and for regular employees
  • Zero hours contract for casual workers
  • Letters to vary existing contracts of employment
  • Equal opportunities and non-harassment policy
  • Letter to an employee refusing request for flexible work hours"

Template: Company Secretarial & Administration Documents

"This section contains documents for the efficient administration your company in compliance with the Companies Act 2006. Most are packs of documents - complete solutions - for company secretarial functions from recording minutes of directors’ meeting to announcing company meetings. They include proxies and text of resolutions."

Template: Director's Service Agreement (employment contract)

"This contract is a complete legal and practical framework for the employment of any executive director, whether on a running or fixed term. It also defines the relationship between the director and the organisation. Provision for remuneration and common benefits befitting a director is included, as is strong protection of company information. Today a company is under a statutory obligation to provide written terms of employment to a director, as to any other employee."

Template: Website Development Contract

"This is an agreement for a developer to put to a client for writing a simple website, for amending or editing pages, or for customising and setting up a site that uses a content management system."

Template: Website Design Contract: developer's version

"This is a comprehensive agreement for the design and development of a complex website or web application. It favours the developer over the client on matters where stronger legal protection might be advantageous."

Template: Web Design Contract: client's version

"This is a comprehensive agreement suitable where it is important that a website is completed to time, specification and budget. It can be used on projects large and small, whether an installation and customisation of a popular content management system, or a bespoke web application. The developer could be based in any country."

Detailed guidance notes are provided with each template. Net Lawman offers a money back guarantee if the document is not what you need, as well as a legal review option if you want some professional assistance when you are drawing up your documents.


The documents menus are designed to describe the documents, but please be sure that you check them over carefully to ensure that they do meet your needs. All documents are subject to Net Lawman's Terms and Conditions, which we ask you to read before you purchase any documents.

We are pleased to be supported by Net as a leading independent online provider of ready-to-use legal documents for business users.

Net Lawman is a founding member of the Association of Publishers of Online Legal Documents (APOD).

APOD exists to:

  • promote the sale of online legal and business document templates;
  • educate the public about the need for legal documents to protect their interests, and in the online availability of professionally written and affordable template contracts;
  • promote and represent the interests of the Association and its members;
  • ensure professional standards for customers and the public in accordance with the APOD Code of Practice.

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